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Is anyone else upset about not being able to upgrade from the 120 day evaluation? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I mean give me a break.  You send us this software so we can try out on our own hardware.  Then, when the 120 days is up, without warning the system is crippled.  I frantically search the web and eventually contact Microsoft only to find that they do not actually sell the software.  I have to purchase it from a third party.  Okay, fine, I'll purchase the software and put up with my server rebooting every hour until the software arrives.

    To make matters worse, it appears the upgrade will take more than just a new key.  Microsoft in their infinite wisdom creates the 120 evaluation software in a way that prevents upgrading.  The only way to "upgrade" to a legal version is to totally reinstall the software and hope that everything returns as it was before.  Any users you have will need to be re created as well as any other changes you have made to the server.  What a mess.  I don't know why I even bothered trying out this software only to find out how poorly supported it really is.

    I've stood behind Microsoft for all these years.  When others were touting the benefits of other operation systems, I stood my ground and backed Microsoft.  This is just a perfect example of why they are losing their die hard followers like me.  Total disregard for their users and software support.

    I'm frustrated at the lack of support for this product.  I'm frustrated with having to jump through hoops just to get in contact with someone at Microsoft.  I'm tired of defending such a defeating company like Microsoft.  Windows Home Server was a great solution for my home network, but with all the horrible information I found today about the WHS and it's tasteless activation process, I have truly reached the point of wanting nothing further to do with Microsoft, its products or and of their affiliates.

    I'm done.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 1:15 AM

All replies

  • This is nothing new - that trial versions of Microsoft operating systems are time bombed and this time bomb can only be removed by applying the retail version. (If this would not be the case, a hacker had a simple way to convert trials to full versions with hacked keys and would not even need the original disk.)
    So it was up to you to inform yourself in time. And what else for a warning you need - if you know it is 120 days for testing, it is a fact and not only a fun information. No reason to blame anyone else.
    Especially for Windows Home Server the need to do a server reinstall has also a positive aspect - you are enforced to test the disaster recovery method and can so check, if there are weak points in your configuration eventually blocking a server reinstall, before the real disaster happens.
    Sure the Server Reinstall is not the most elegant way of recovery many of us could think of - but WHS is a version 1 product release, which naturally leaves room for improvements.

    Microsoft supports this product - but not in a way, a retail version would be supported. Originally intended way to distribute Windows Home Server was explicitely as a hardware applicance through system builders, who know, what they do and are the people in charge for support.
    So if you are so in need support - why not go and buy a box with preinstalled Windows Home Server?

    Also I think these forums and some other websites are doing a good job in supporting WHS users.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 8:29 AM
    Moderator
  • Microsoft probably does not allow users to upgrade the evaluation version because it would be too easy to pirate. 

    I can understand your frustration with having to go through a complete reinstall but this is standard operating procedure and I am sure it was in the fine print.

    Please don't let these set backs discourage you from using WHS. I think you will be hard pressed to find a better solution.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:10 PM
  • Nothing new?  Please!  This was not beta software nor something that was downloaded from some third party or hack site.  This was sent from Microsoft as a stand alone windows version.  Why would I ever think that after the 120 days I would not be able to continue its use without a total reinstall.  Since Vista you can even install the software without a key and use it for a month before needing to activate.  So why not with WHS?  Why would I expect anything different from WHS?

    So, you want me to go out and spend upwards of $600 USD for the hardware solution when I already have better hardware and drives in my current system?  That is some great advice right there.

    The big problem I have now is the system seems to be in lock down.  i can still access the server and its files but I can no longer access the desktop to check my current configuration.  I have been using IIS and have a few databases on the box that I would like to get and back up before the reinstall.  As it seems now, I won't be able to do that normally and will have to resort to file based recovery.

    Still not happy with the way Microsoft has handled this.  I've purchased a version of the software from amazon and I hope it arrives soon so I can begin the tasks needed to bring my system out of hock.  :(
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:25 PM
  • Kahuna900 said:

    The big problem I have now is the system seems to be in lock down.  i can still access the server and its files but I can no longer access the desktop to check my current configuration.  I have been using IIS and have a few databases on the box that I would like to get and back up before the reinstall. 


    which is an unsupported use of Windows home server anyway (if not in conflict with the EULA). All interaction should only be done via the WHS Console. If you need more, Windows Home Server may not be the right product for your needs.

    If your databases are configured in a way, that they write to shared folders on the server, which are not located on the C: drive, the data will still be there after a server reinstall, which only wipes the system volume.
    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 7:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Kahuna, while I understand your annoyance, what you are complaining about (the progressive disabling of the server after the end of the evaluation period) is pretty plainly laid out in the EULA you agreed to when you installed the evaluation software. That it's a "hard" time bomb is a result of the popularity of Microsoft software. If it were possible to convert an evaluation version to a full licensed version, then there would be nothing to stop people from obtaining a product key (possibly through a key generator, or getting a key directly off the Internet) and converting illegally, something I suspect would be more the rule than the exception.

    Also, I know perfectly well that people often don't read these license agreements, but that is a dangerous practice. When you agree to that license unread, you may be agreeing to terms that you would find unacceptable if you knew about them. You can be held to those terms (in court) even if you agreed without reading the license.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, January 15, 2009 10:11 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken Warren said:

    Kahuna, while I understand your annoyance, what you are complaining about (the progressive disabling of the server after the end of the evaluation period) is pretty plainly laid out in the EULA you agreed to when you installed the evaluation software. That it's a "hard" time bomb is a result of the popularity of Microsoft software. If it were possible to convert an evaluation version to a full licensed version, then there would be nothing to stop people from obtaining a product key (possibly through a key generator, or getting a key directly off the Internet) and converting illegally, something I suspect would be more the rule than the exception.


    Also, I know perfectly well that people often don't read these license agreements, but that is a dangerous practice. When you agree to that license unread, you may be agreeing to terms that you would find unacceptable if you knew about them. You can be held to those terms (in court) even if you agreed without reading the license.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)



    Why would Microsoft be more worried about pirated version of WHS over versions of Vista or even the new Windows 7.  You can install both of those without a key, use them for a month before having to activate them.  Also, as the date grows near you are reminded multiple times that you need to activate the software to continue to use it.

    I'm still waiting for my official version to arrive so I can get my system back in order.  I do not look forward to the reinstall process and what might have been lost do to the fact that I can no longer access the system at all right now.

    No matter what you all say may be contained in the EULA, for some reason Microsoft felt the need to disallow easy activation of this product, unlike their most recent versions of Vista and Windows 7.  As a developer myself, I would find it appalling to require a user to totally reinstall (or repair) an installation of my software in order to simply activate the product.
    Friday, January 16, 2009 6:19 PM
  • You can also install WHS and use it for a month without activation (if you install the software on your own hardware). And you will be prompted multiple times to activate. The end of the evaluation period is not the same as the end of the activation grace period, and the time bomb at the end of the evaluation period is not related to activation.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, January 16, 2009 7:02 PM
    Moderator
  • Well, I reinstalled the software with my newly purchased OEM version.  For some reason, I had to manually configure my router this time although it should have been using the same ports that were setup the first time. After installing over my old version and seeing that it worked, I decided to try reinstalling to a new larger system drive to see if everything would still be there.

    Well, everything went great and I now have a new freshly installed system.  I never lost any information, even though some of the data were not replicated.

    Despite the horrible lockout and loss of db data with the 120 eval version, I do like the way this program interacts with our family's computers and laptops.  I love the fact that all my music and videos can be accessed via our Xbox360 which showed up automatically the first time.

    Friday, January 23, 2009 7:54 PM